The people of Florida approved a constitutional amendment in 2016 allowing
the use of medical marijuana. The language of the bill passed into law
only had a ban on smoking in public places. Otherwise, the language did
not mention any other type of ban on smoking. In 2017, the Florida legislature
took it upon itself to ban the sale of medical marijuana in the smokable
form across the board. The laws passed by the legislature state that the
product can only be sold and used in a form for vaping and in food including
oils, sprays, and tinctures. The bottom line is, this is not what the
people voted for. The original language that the people voted on clearly
laid out that private use of smoking products was not illegal.
So, of course came lawsuits as many patients have stated that the administration
of medical marijuana in the smokable form is most effective. The main
issue here is if the Constitution allows it then the legislature cannot
pass laws that are inconsistent with the Constitution. The Florida legislatures
outlawing of smoking medical marijuana is clear evidence that the Constitution
permits it. The legislatures reasoning for outlawing it in smokable form
is to protect the public from the adverse effects of it. The states position
is that the constitutional amendment does not expressly allow smoking.
The state also has stated that it has broad authority to regulate health,
safety, and welfare of the public.
The Plaintiff’s main argument is that the laws banning the sale of
and use of medical marijuana smoking products is inconsistent with the
intent of the people and Amendment 2 of the Florida Constitution. Additionally,
the Plaintiffs have pointed out that the definition of marijuana used
for purposes of the language placed on the ballot was: “all parts
of any plant of the genus Cannabis, whether growing or not.” This
definition clearly includes whole-flower marijuana, which is used for smoking.
Leon County Circuit Court Judge, Karen Gievers, will soon make a decision
on the issue. However, this most likely will not be the end of the road
for this case as the losing party will most likely appeal the decision.